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SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences
11 March 2016, Vol. 59, No. 4

Recycling of water at subduction zones plays a key role in dictating geochemical fluxes between Earth’s surface and interior, with important implications for understanding the genesis of mineral resources and earthquake hazards. Water in the crust is carried mostly in the form of hydrous minerals into the mantle, and some of this water returns to the surface in the form of arc volcanism. The transport of water from the descending crust into the mantle is primarily dictated by the thermal structure of subduction zones. Although the mantle wedge undergoes hydration during subduction, its dehydration melting does not take place immediately because of the too low temperature at the slab-mantle interface. Thus, arc volcanism occurs at a later time due to the rollback of subducting slab for external heating of the hydrated mantle wedge. For more details, see the review article by ZHENG YongFei et al. on pages 651–682.


 
   
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SPECIAL TOPIC: Water in the Earth's interior

The transport of water in subduction zones

ZHENG YongFei, CHEN RenXu, XU Zheng, ZHANG ShaoBing
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 651-682 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5258-4
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The transport of water from subducting crust into the mantle is mainly dictated by the stability of hydrous minerals in subduction zones. The thermal structure of subduction zones is a key to dehydration of the subducting crust at different depths. Oceanic subduction zones show a large variation in the geotherm, but seismicity and arc volcanism are only prominent in cold subduction zones where geothermal gradients are low. In contrast, continental subduction zones have low geothermal gradients, resulting in metamorphism in cold subduction zones and the absence of arc volcanism during subduction. In very cold subduction zone where the geothermal gradient is very low (£5°C/km), lawsonite may carry water into great depths of £300 km. In the hot subduction zone where the geothermal gradient is high (>25°C/km), the subducting crust dehydrates significantly at shallow depths and may partially melt at depths of <80 km to form felsic melts, into which water is highly dissolved. In this case, only a minor amount of water can be transported into great depths. A number of intermediate modes are present between these two end-member dehydration modes, making subduction-zone dehydration various. Low-T/low-P hydrous minerals are not stable in warm subduction zones with increasing subduction depths and thus break down at forearc depths of £60-80 km to release large amounts of water. In contrast, the low-T/low-P hydrous minerals are replaced by low-T/high-P hydrous minerals in cold subduction zones with increasing subduction depths, allowing the water to be transported to subarc depths of 80-160 km. In either case, dehydration reactions not only trigger seismicity in the subducting crust but also cause hydration of the mantle wedge. Nevertheless, there are still minor amounts of water to be transported by ultrahigh-pressure hydrous minerals and nominally anhydrous minerals into the deeper mantle. The mantle wedge overlying the subducting slab does not partially melt upon water influx for volcanic arc magmatism, but it is hydrated at first with the lowest temperature at the slab-mantle interface, several hundreds of degree lower than the wet solidus of hydrated peridotites. The hydrated peridotites may undergo partial melting upon heating at a later time. Therefore, the water flux from the subducting crust into the overlying mantle wedge does not trigger the volcanic arc magmatism immediately.

SPECIAL TOPIC: Water in the Earth's interior

High-P/T experimental studies and water in the silicate mantle

YANG XiaoZhi, LI Yan
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 683-695 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5241-0
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Water (or H) in the silicate mantle is a key element in influencing Earth's climate, habitability, geochemical evolution, geophysical properties and geodynamical processes, and has received increasing attention in the past decades. Experimental work under simulated high-pressure and high-temperature conditions is a powerful tool in characterizing the species, distribution, storage capacity and various physicochemical impacts of water in the mantle. In recent years, significant approaches have been acquired about some key physical, chemical and dynamical properties of water in the mantle and their various impacts, as a result of extensive studies by high-pressure and temperature experiments, and our knowledge of Earth's water cycle, especially the deep water cycle, on both temporal and spatial scales has been greatly enhanced. In this paper, a brief review based mainly on experimental studies is presented concerning the current understanding and some recent approaches of water in the silicate mantle, such as the possible origin, amount, storage and the effect on mantle properties.

SPECIAL TOPIC: Water in the Earth's interior

Experimental study of the electrical conductivity of hydrous minerals in the crust and the mantle under high pressure and high temperature

GUO XinZhuan*
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 696-706 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5249-5
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Hydrous minerals are important water carriers in the crust and the mantle, especially in the subduction zone. With the recent development of the experimental technique, studies of the electrical conductivity of hydrous silicate minerals under controlled temperature, pressure and oxygen fugacity, have helped to constrain the water distribution in the Earth's interior. This paper introduces high pressure and temperature experimental study of electrical conductivity measurement of hydrous minerals such as serpentine, talc, brucite, phase A, super hydrous phase B and phase D, and assesses the data quality of the above minerals. The dehydration effect and the pressure effect on the bulk conductivity of the hydrous minerals are specifically emphasized. The conduction mechanism of hydrous minerals and the electrical structure of the subduction zone are discussed based on the available conductivity data. Finally, the potential research fields of the electrical conductivity of hydrous minerals is presented.

SPECIAL TOPIC: Water in the Earth's interior

Hydration effects on crystal structures and equations of state for silicate minerals in the subducting slabs and mantle transition zone

YE Yu
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 707-719 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5260-x
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There are potentially huge amounts of water stored in Earth's mantle, and the water solubilities in the silicate minerals range from tens to thousands of part per minion (ppm, part per million). Exploring water in the mantle has attracted much attention from the societies of mineralogy and geophysics in recent years. In the subducting slab, serpentine breaks down at high temperature, generating a series of dense hydrous magnesium silicate (DHMS) phases, such as phase A, chondrodite, clinohumite, etc. These phases may serve as carriers of water as hydroxyl into the upper mantle and the mantle transition zone (MTZ). On the other hand, wadsleyite and ringwoodite, polymorphs of olivine, are most the abundant minerals in the MTZ, and able to absorb significant amount of water (up to about 3 wt.% H2O). Hence, the MTZ becomes a very important layer for water storage in the mantle, and hydration plays important roles in physics and chemistry of the MTZ. In this paper, we will discuss two aspects of hydrous silicate minerals: (1) crystal structures and (2) equations of state (EoSs).

SPECIAL TOPIC: Water in the Earth's interior

Water and partial melting of Earth's mantle

NI HuaiWei, ZHANG Li, GUO Xuan
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 720-730 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5254-8
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Water plays a crucial role in the melting of Earth's mantle. Mantle magmatisms mostly occur at plate boundaries (including subduction zones and mid-ocean ridges) and in some intraplate regions with thermal anomaly. At oceanic subduction zones, water released by the subducted slab may induce melting of the overlying mantle wedge or even the slab itself, giving rise to arc magmatism, or may evolve into a supercritical fluid. The physicochemical conditions for the formation of slab melt and supercritical fluid are still under debate. At mid-ocean ridges and intraplate hot zones, water and CO2 cause melting of the upwelling mantle to occur at greater depths and in greater extents. Low degree melting of the mantle may occur at boundaries between Earth's internal spheres, including the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB), the upper mantle-transition zone boundary, and the transition zone-lower mantle boundary, usually attributed to contrasting water storage capacity across the boundary. The origin for the stimulating effect of water on melting lies in that water as an incompatible component has a strong tendency to be enriched in the melt (i.e., with a mineral-melt partition coefficient much smaller than unity), thereby lowering the Gibbs free energy of the melt. The partitioning of water between melt and mantle minerals such as olivine, pyroxenes and garnet has been investigated extensively, but the effects of hydration on the density and transport properties of silicate melts require further assessments by experimental and computational approaches.

REVIEW | Geography

Review of snow water equivalent microwave remote sensing

SHI JianCheng, XIONG Chuan, JIANG LingMei
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 731-745 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5225-0
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Accurate quantitative global scale snow water equivalent information is crucial for meteorology, hydrology, water cycle and global change studies, and is of great importance for snow melt-runoff forecast, water resources management and flood control. With land surface process model and snow process model, the snow water equivalent can be simulated with certain accuracy, with the forcing data as input. However, the snow water equivalent simulated using the snow process models has large uncertainties spatially and temporally, and it may be far from the needs of practical applications. Thus, the large scale snow water equivalent information is mainly from remote sensing. Beginning with the launch of Nimbus-7 satellite, the research on microwave snow water equivalent remote sensing has developed for more than 30 years, researchers have made progress in many aspects, including the electromagnetic scattering and emission modeling, ground and airborne experiments, and inversion algorithms for future global high resolution snow water equivalent remote sensing program. In this paper, the research and progress in the aspects of electromagnetic scattering/emission modeling over snow covered terrain and snow water equivalent inversion algorithm will be summarized.

PROGRESS | Environmental science

Advances in environmental behaviors and effects of dissolved organic matter in aquatic ecosystems

HE Wei, BAI ZeLin, LI YiLong, KONG XiangZhen, LIU WenXiu, YANG Chen, YANG Bin, XU FuLiu
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 746-759 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5248-6
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Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a group of compounds that have complex chemical structures and multiple interactions with their surrounding materials. More than one trillion tons of DOM are stocked in the world's aquatic ecosystems. DOM is a very important part of aquatic ecosystem productivity and plays a crucial role in global carbon cycling. DOM has rich environmental behaviors and effects such as influencing the bioavailability of contaminants, serving as an important inducer of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and protecting aquatic organisms from the harm of dangerous ultraviolet radiation. There have been many systematic studies on the composition, structure, and sources of DOM because such studies are much easier to conduct than studies on the environmental behaviors and effects of DOM. Due to many factors, the research systems of DOM's environmental behaviors and effects are still being developed and have become a hotspot of environmental science. This review paper focuses on some critical progress, problems, and trends of DOM's environmental behaviors and effects in aquatic ecosystems, including mutual exchange mechanisms between DOM and particulate organic matter (POM) with influencing factors, photochemical behaviors of DOM especially inducing ROS, binding interactions between DOM and anthropogenic organic contaminants (AOC), interactions between DOM and microorganisms, effects of DOM on pollutants' bioavailability, ecotoxicity, and ecological risks. Hopefully, this paper will contribute to a more systematic understanding of the DOM environmental behaviors and effects and to promoting further relevant studies.

RESEARCH PAPER | Environmental science

Sand dunes as potential sources of dust in northern China

Mark R SWEENEY, LU HuaYu, CUI MengChun, Joseph A MASON, FENG Han, XU ZhiWei
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 760-769 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5246-8
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While saltation bombardment of sand grains on a fine substrate can produce considerable dust, the well-sorted nature of sand dunes tends to preclude them from consideration as major dust sources. Recent research, however, has revealed that sand dunes can, in some cases, be large sources of dust. We used the PI-SWERL (Portable In-Situ Wind Erosion Laboratory) to measure in the field the potential of sand dunes and other desert landforms to emit particulate matter <10 μm (PM-10) dust in the Tengger, Ulan Buh, and Mu Us deserts of northern China. Combined with high resolution particle size measurements of the dune sand, an assessment of sand dunes as a dust source can be made. Large active transverse dunes tend to contain little to no stored PM-10, yet they produce a low dust flux. Coppice dunes stabilized by vegetation contain appreciable PM-10 and have very high dust emission potential. There is a positive correlation between the amount of PM-10 stored in a dune and its potential dust flux. Saltation liberates loose fines stored in dunes, making them very efficient dust emitters compared to landforms such as dry lake beds and washes where dust particles are unavailable for aeolian transport due to protective crusts or sediment cohesion. In cases where large dunes do not store PM-10 yet emit dust when active, two hypotheses can be considered: (1) iron-oxide grain coatings are removed during saltation, creating dust, and (2) sand grains collide during saltation, abrading grains to create dust. Observations reveal that iron oxide coatings are present on some dune sands. PI-SWERL data suggests that low dust fluxes from dunes containing no stored dust may represent an estimate for the amount of PM-10 dust produced by removal of iron oxide coatings. These results are similar to results from dunes in the United States. In addition, PI-SWERL results suggest that dust-bearing coppice dunes, which cover vast areas of China's sandy deserts, may become major sources of dust in the future if overgrazing, depletion of groundwater, or drought destabilizes the vegetation that now partially covers these dunes.

RESEARCH PAPER | Geography

Identification of hydraulic conductivity distributions in density dependent flow fields of submarine groundwater discharge modeling using adjoint-state sensitivities

HU Bill X, CAO YanZhao, ZHAO WeiDong, BAO Feng
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 770-779 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5236-x
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A mathematical optimal control method is developed to identify a hydraulic conductivity distribution in a density dependent flow field. Using a variational method, the adjoint partial differential equations are obtained for the density-dependent state equations used for the saline aquifer water flow. The adjoint equations are numerically solved in through a finite difference method. The developed method is applied to identify the hydraulic conductivity distribution through the numerical solution of an optimal control problem. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the optimal control method, three numerical experiments are conducted with artificial observation data. The results indicate that the developed method has the potential to accurately identify the hydraulic conductivity distribution in a saline water aquifer flow system.

RESEARCH PAPER

A ubiquitous knowledgeable data representation model (UKRM) for three-dimensional geographic information systems (3D GIS)

ZHANG ShuQing, ZHOU ChengHu, ZHANG JunYan, CHEN XiangCong
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 780-794 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5255-7
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In the face of complicated, diversified three-dimensional world, the existing 3D GIS data models suffer from certain issues such as data incompatibility, insufficiency in data representation and representation types, among others. It is often hard to meet the requirements of multiple application purposes (users) related to GIS spatial data management and data query and analysis, especially in the case of massive spatial objects. In this study, according to the habits of human thinking and recognition, discrete expressions (such as discrete curved surface (DCS), and discrete body (DB)) were integrated and two novel representation types (including function structure and mapping structure) were put forward. A flexible and extensible ubiquitous knowledgeable data representation model (UKRM) was then constructed, in which structurally heterogeneous multiple expressions (including boundary representation (B-rep), constructive solid geometry (CSG), functional/parameter representation, etc.) were normalized. GIS's ability in representing the massive, complicated and diversified 3D world was thus greatly enhanced. In addition, data reuse was realized, and the bridge linking static GIS to dynamic GIS was built up. Primary experimental results illustrated that UKRM was overwhelmingly superior to the current data models (e.g. IFC, CityGML) in describing both regular and irregular spatial objects.

RESEARCH PAPER | Atmospheric science

Variability features of the width of the tropical belt from COSMIC radio occultation data

GAO Pan, ZHANG XiaoHong, XU XiaoHua
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 795-802 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5252-x
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In this work, we analyzed time-series and trends of the tropical belt edges and widths with three methods based on the tropopause using new global positioning system radio occultation (GPS RO) data from the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) mission for September 2006-February 2014. The results from the three methods agreed well with previous studies and new features were found. To avoid the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) influence, we applied a simple multiple linear regression model to the monthly anomalies to obtain the tropical belt edges and width trends. During the study, we found equatorward movements of the tropical belt edges on both hemispheres. The narrowing of the tropical belt mainly occurred in the Pacific Ocean. We also found that the deseasonalized monthly anomalies of the tropical belt width were closely related with the ENSO and QBO. The tropical belt at a height of 15 km was mostly closely related with the ENSO. The correlations between the QBO and the tropical belt were consistent for the three methods.

RESEARCH PAPER | Geology

Geological characteristics and mineralization setting of the Zhuxi tungsten (copper) polymetallic deposit in the Eastern Jiangnan Orogen

CHENGuoHua, SHU LiangShu, SHU LiMin, ZHANG Cheng, OUYANG YongPeng
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 803-823 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5200-9
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The Zhuxi ore deposit is a super-large scheelite (copper) polymetallic deposit discovered in recent years. It grew above copper/tungsten-rich Neoproterozoic argilloarenaceous basement rocks and was formed in the contact zone between Yanshanian granites and Carboniferous-Permian limestone. Granites related to this mineralization mainly include equigranular, middle-to coarse-grained granites and granitic porphyries. There are two mineralization types: skarn scheelite (copper) and granite scheelite mineralization. The former is large scale and has a high content of scheelite, whereas the latter is small scale and has a low content of scheelite. In the Taqian-Fuchun Basin, its NW boundary is a thrust fault, and the SE boundary is an angular unconformity with Proterozoic basement. In Carboniferous-Permian rock assemblages, the tungsten and copper contents in the limestone are both very high. The contents of major elements in granitoids do not differ largely between the periphery and the inside of the Zhuxi ore deposit. In both areas, the values of the aluminum saturation index are A/CNK>1.1, and the rocks are classified as potassium-rich strongly peraluminous granites. In terms of trace elements, compared to granites on the periphery of the Zhuxi ore deposit, the granites inside the Zhuxi ore deposit have smaller d Eu values, exhibit a significantly more negative Eu anomaly, are richer in Rb, U, Ta, Pb and Hf, and are more depleted in Ba, Ce, Sr, La and Ti, which indicates that they are highly differentiated S-type granites with a high degree of evolution. Under the influence of fluids, mineralization of sulfides is evident within massive rock formations inside the Zhuxi ore deposit, and the mean SO3 content is 0.2%. Compared to peripheral rocks, the d Eu and total rare earth element (REE) content of granites inside the Zhuxi ore deposit are both lower, indicating a certain evolutionary inheritance relationship between the granites on the periphery and the granites inside the Zhuxi ore deposit. For peripheral and ore district plutons, U-Pb zircon dating shows an age range of 152-148 Ma. In situ Lu-Hf isotope analysis of zircon in the granites reveals that the calculated eHf(t) values are all negative, and the majority range from -6 to -9. The TDM2 values are concentrated in the range of 1.50-1.88 Ga (peak at 1.75 Ga), suggesting that the granitic magmas are derived from partial melting of ancient crust. This paper also discusses the metallogenic conditions and ore-controlling conditions of the ore district from the perspectives of mineral contents, hydrothermal alteration, and ore-controlling structures in the strata and the ore-bearing rocks. It is proposed that the Zhuxi ore deposit went through a multi-stage evolution, including oblique intrusion of granitic magmas, skarn mineralization, cooling and alteration, and precipitation of metal sulfides. The mineralization pattern can be summarized as “copper in the east and tungsten in the west, copper at shallow-middle depths and tungsten at deep depths, tungsten in the early stage and copper in the late stage”.

RESEARCH PAPER

Earliest fossil fruit record of the genus Paliurus (Rhamnaceae) in Eastern Asia

HAN Meng, CHEN Gang, SHI XiangGang, JIN JianHua
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 824-830 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5245-9
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The genus Paliurus is characterized by its distinctive orbicular-winged fruits and a trilocular (or bilocular) ovary. Macrofossil records suggested this genus was distributed widely in North America, Europe, and Asia during the Paleogene and Neogene, before its present limitation to Eurasia. In this study, we describe some Paliurus fossil winged fruits from the lower part of Youganwo Formation (middle Eocene) and Huangniuling Formation (late Eocene) of the Maoming Basin, South China. These fruits are recognized as Paliurus favonii Unger based on a detailed study on the fossil morphology and cuticle characteristics. This represents the earliest occurrence of Paliurus fossil fruits in eastern Asia, and to date is the world's lowest latitude appearance for this genus. The most ancient records of Paliurus throughout the world are from the middle Eocene of North America and the late Eocene of Japan, leading some researchers to conclude the Paliurus may have originated in North America. Molecular data, however, do not support this hypothesis. The present Paliurus fossil fruits provide new evidence for the origin and phytogeographic history of this genus.

RESEARCH PAPER

Thermodynamic properties of calcium ferrite-type MgAl2O4: A first principles study

YIN Kun, ZHOU HuiQun, LU XianCai
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 831-839 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5237-9
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The diamond anvil cell experiments have revealed that the calcium ferrite (CF)-type aluminous phase is probably an important component of subducted mid-oceanic ridge basalt (MORB) in the lower mantle. In this study, we have performed first principles lattice dynamics calculations for the MgAl2O4 end-member of the aluminous phase based on density functional perturbation theory using two functionals within the local density approximation (LDA) and generalized gradient approximation (GGA) for bracketing the calculated properties at their lower and upper limits, respectively. A simple empirical pressure correction at zero temperature has been applied to both LDA and GGA. The results of room-temperature equation of state (EOS) and zero-pressure thermal expansion calculated by GGA with pressure correction have shown the best agreement with available experimental data. The high-pressure and temperature thermodynamic properties have been obtained using the GGA with correction method. The pressure-volume relations are fitted with a third-order high-temperature Birch-Murnaghan EOS. The isobaric heat capacity, the coefficient of thermal expansion and isothermal bulk modulus are fitted with polynomials and their coefficients are reported in the range of 0-40 GPa and 300-2000 K. The density profile of MORB estimated using the computational thermo-elastic constants supports the hypothesis that the subducted oceanic slabs could gain enough downwelling forces into the lower mantle.

RESEARCH PAPER

Geochemistry and possible origin of the hydrocarbons from Wells Zhongshen1 and Zhongshen1C, Tazhong Uplift

SONG DaoFu, WANG TieGuan, LI MeiJun
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 840-850 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5226-z
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In 2013, a great breakthrough of deep petroleum exploration was achieved in the Cambrian pre-salt intervals of Wells Zhongshen1 (ZS1) and Zhongshen1C (ZS1C), Tazhong Uplift. However, the hydrocarbon discovery in the Cambrian pre-salt intervals has triggered extensive controversy regarding the source of marine oils in the Tarim Basin. The geochemistry and origin of the Cambrian pre-salt hydrocarbons in Wells ZS1 and ZS1C were investigated using GC, GC-MS and stable carbon isotope technique. These hydrocarbons can be easily distinguished into two genetic families based on their geochemical and carbon isotopic compositions. The oil and natural gases from the Awatage Formation of Well ZS1 are derived from Middle-Upper Ordovician source rocks. In contrast, the condensate and gases from the Xiaoerbulake Formation of Wells ZS1 and ZS1C probably originate from Cambrian source rocks. The recent discovery of these hydrocarbons with two different sources in Wells ZS1 and ZS1C suggests that both Middle-Upper Ordovician-sourced hydrocarbons and Cambrian-sourced petroleums are accumulated in the Tazhong Uplift, presenting a great exploration potential.

RESEARCH PAPER

Contributions of non-tectonic micro-fractures to hydraulic fracturing—A numerical investigation based on FSD model

WANG Yu, Li Xiao, ZHAO ZhiHeng, ZHOU RunQing, ZHANG Bo, LI GuanFang
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 851-865 | doi:10.1007/s11430-015-5232-1
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Shale gas has been discovered in the Upper Triassic Yanchang Formation, Ordos Basin, China. Due to the weak tectonic activities in which the shale plays, core observations indicate abundant random non-tectonic micro-fractures in the producing shales. The non-tectonic micro-fractures are different from tectonic fractures and are characterized by being irregular, curved, discontinuous, and randomly distributed. The role of micro-fractures in hydraulic fracturing for shale gas development is currently poorly understood yet potentially critical. Two-dimensional computational modeling studies have been used in an initial attempt toward understanding how naturally random fractured reservoirs respond during hydraulic fracturing. The aim of the paper is to investigate the effect of random non-tectonic fractures on hydraulic fracturing. The numerical models with random non-tectonic micro-fractures are built by extracting the fractures of rock blocks after repeated heating and cooling, using a digital image process. Simulations were conducted as a function of: (1) the in-situ stress ratio; (2) internal friction angle of random fractures; (3) cohesion of random fractures; (4) operational variables such as injection rate; and (5) variable injection rate technology. A sensitivity study reveals a number of interesting observations resulting from these parameters on the shear stimulation in a natural fracture system. Three types of fracturing networks were observed from the studied simulations, and the results also show that variable injection rate technology is most promising for producing complex fracturing networks. This work strongly links the production technology and geomechanical evaluation. It can aid in the understanding and optimization of hydraulic fracturing simulations in naturally random fractured reservoirs.

DISCUSSION | Geology

Primary dolostone related to the Cretaceous lacustrine hydrothermal sedimentation in Qingxi sag, Jiuquan Basin on the northern Tibetan Plateau: Discussion

LI Le, YAO GuangQing
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 866-870 | doi:10.1007/s11430-016-5262-3
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HIGHLIGHT | Space science

Models of the Earth's plasmapause position

FU SuiYan, SUN WeiJie
SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, 2016, 59(4): 871-872 | doi:10.1007/s11430-016-5266-z
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